In the same year the two Newport Associations amalgamated. The Commercial Street and Temple Street Associations became jointly the Newport YMCA. One Association and one membership, with the accommodation of both buildings deployed for agencies in a planned programme available to any member in the new united Association. Membership was available to boys and girls of sixteen years or over. This bold and ingenious experiment was a remarkable success.
The corner block of buildings adjacent to the YMCA in Commercial Street became available for purchase in 1947. The property comprised two shops and sixteen rooms in various sizes. The purchase price required was £5,000. It was a period when Voluntary Bodies received much encouragement from the Ministry of Education to extend their work for Youth. Being inspired by the leadership of the past in respect of boys work, the Association formulated a scheme to acquire the property on sale and an application was made to the Ministry for a substantial grant to extend boys work further. In due time the application was approved and the property taken over. Approximately 50% of the purchase price was received in grant and the remainder was raised mainly through a Victory Bazaar in 1945, and private subscription of which the largest gift was £1,250., from the Whitehead Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., Mrs. L.D. Whitehead OBE, JP., being President of the Newport Association.
Alterations in the sixteen rooms were undertaken voluntarily by the Association members under the direction of the General Secretary, Mr. I. J. Bakewell. In addition, the old hall was reconstructed as a modem gymnasium. The new sections were opened in 1949 by Mr. G.R. Latham, J.F., Managing Director of the Whitehead Iron & Steel Co., Ltd.
Much consideration was given by the General Committee of the Neath Association in 1950, to planning a massive reconstruction of their premises in Orchard Street. It was proposed to demolish an all-purpose timbered hut at the rear of their building which had been constructed over an extensive basement, and to erect in its place, a large gymnasium hall, in permanent materials, together with appropriate changing rooms. It was also proposed to build another floor above the gymnasium consisting of several rooms to house various Association activities; it was planned that this floor should coincide with the floor of the main building. Other accommodation in the house section of the premises needed to be reconstructed and renovated, particularly as a safety precaution, by eradicating structural weakness showing in the premises. The estimated cost of the scheme, £8,000.
An application for grant aid to the Ministry' of Education was accepted in principle but agreement to proceed was postponed pending brighter financial prospects in the Country' and the availability of licensed building materials.
However, the waiting was too prolonged and the scheme was abandoned later when a site was offered in another part of the town where land and building costs were not so heavy. The Orchard Street site, being in the main street and business centre, was sold to a business company.
The most massive and impressive block of buildings in Taff Street, the busy thoroughfare of Pontypridd, is the Town YMCA. It was built in 1910. In the